FROM CONFERENCE TO COMMUNITY
After two years of online conferences, we all hope it's time to go back to face-to-face conferences. But after this experience we can make a comparison between the two types of conferences.
The online conference has the following intrinsic advantages: save money and save time. Also it has the advantages to allow the connection with colleagues who cannot participate in a face-to-face conference and to allow the availability of presentations after the conference has ended.
On the other hand, some difficulties were experienced regarding poster sessions and networking. But these difficulties could be overcome when participants will become more acquainted with online operations. Of course an online conference will never allow to be connected all at the same hour and to visit new intersting places.
Online conferences, to date, have tried to replicate what face-to-face conferences do. But the end of the pandemic will finally bring us back to face-to-face congresses that will likely become hybrids to acquire some of the advantages of online congresses. In fact, a hybrid congress will allow:
- to participate, even to those who do not have time or funds;
- to everyone to view the presentations at a covenient time;
- to be present at the same time and to visit new places, to those who will be in attendance.
The online conference, in fact, will only maintain the advantage of greater organizational simplicity. But on the participatory side it will remain less attractive than the hybrid conference.
A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE
Completely forgetting about online conferences is definitely an option. But probably not the best.
In fact, the picture changes if we abandon the concept of conference and look at the further potential of the online connection. What is it that the online conference has not yet used and that a face-to-face conference or a hybrid conference cannot do? Exist outside the time frame in which they are organized.
This means moving from the conference to the community.
And what is the community? It is a group of people who find themselves on the same platform having an account on an ongoing basis to create interest groups, network and organize individual events or presentations. And perhaps much more according to the imagination of the participants.
So, the purpose of World Online Community for Sustainable Technologies is to provide a permanent forum where representatives from industry, public laboratories, universities and government agencies can meet, discuss and present at any time the most recent advances in all fields connected with sustainable technologies.